St. Louis County Jail | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Jail

St. Louis County jail
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St. Louis County’s recently revived justice services advisory board chastised jail officials Friday for being secretive about the circumstances surrounding the death of an inmate in late December.

“You guys seem to know what happened, and we do not know what happened,” said board member and jail ministry volunteer Mary Zabawa Taylor to jail director Raul Banasco and the county’s top medical officials at the group’s monthly meeting.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County jail will now provide inmates with better menstrual pads and tampons free of charge.

County Executive Sam Page last week signed an executive order making the change after a survey from the nonprofit Missouri Appleseed found inmates couldn’t afford the products they needed.

St. Louis County jail
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The Buzz Westfall Justice Center in Clayton is sending twice as many inmates to the hospital for medical emergencies as it did in previous years, according to health officials. 

That’s likely because more inmates are coming into jail with drug addictions, said Dr. Emily Doucette, acting co-director of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. Four in 10 inmates have withdrawal symptoms at their initial booking, said Doucette, whose department provides health care at the jail. 

Additionally, they increasingly have multiple substances, such as alcohol, tranquilizers and opioids, in their system, she said.

St. Louis County jail
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St. Louis County’s top public health officials want more medical workers at the county jail. 

The facility needs about 20 more full-time nurses to reach its ideal staffing level of 60, they say. 

Currently, the jail is relying on nurses hired on short-term contracts to fill the gaps in staffing, said Dr. Emily Doucette, co-director of the county’s public health department.